Amanda Aldridge: Google Doodle celebrates British opera singer Amanda Aldridge

The Google Doodle is celebrating British opera singer and composer Amanda Aldridge, who composed under the pseudonym Montague Ring

The British composer was a teacher as well as an opera singer who was born African-American actor Ira Frederick Aldridge and his second wife, Amanda Brandt, from Sweden.

Here’s everything you need to know about Amanda Aldridge and why she is being celebrated.

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Why is the Google Doodle Amanda Aldridge today?

The Google Doodle celebrates Amanda Aldridge

On this day in 1911, Amanda Aldridge gave a piano recital at London's pre-war principal concert venue, Queens Small Hall, the original home of the BBC Symphony and London Philharmonic Orchestras.

Her mother was Swede Amanda Brandt, her sisters Rachael and the star operatic contralto Luranah Aldridge, who nearly made history as the first performer of African heritage to star at Bayreuth Opera House, before illness forced her to cancel.

Aldridge pursued a career as a vocalist at London’s Royal Conservatory of Music, where she studied under eminent Swedish soprano Jenny Lind – but her career was cut short due to a throat injury.

After laryngitis led to a throat injury – she focussed on teaching and composition – writing over thirty songs which are considered to be of significant contribution to parlour music under the pseudonym Montague Ring.

Roland Hayes and composer Lawrence Benjamin Brown were among her notable students.

Aldridge composed love songs, sambas, and orchestral pieces into her old age, garnering international attention for her fusion of musical styles. At 88, Aldridge appeared for the first time on television on the British show “Music for You."

She died on March 9, 1956 in London.

What music did Amanda Aldridge compose?

Aldridge composed love songs, sambas, and orchestral pieces into her old age, garnering international attention for her fusion of musical styles. At 88, Aldridge appeared for the first time on television on the British show “Music for You,” introducing a new generation to her classic compositions.

Her most famous songs include Three Arabian Dances inspired by West African drumming, Lazy Dance, and songs like ‘Little Southern Love Song’ and ‘Little Missie Cakewalk’ with many of her songs exploring and linking back to her heritage.

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What is Parlour Music?

Parlour music is a popular genre performed in the livingrooms of middle-class homes – it was played on sheet music at home on piano, accompanied by vocals.

It was widely popular due to records not being available at the time.